The health care affordability gap continues to rise — Business Management Daily: Free Reports on Human Resources, Employment Law, Office Management, Office Communication, Office Technology and Small Business Tax Business Management Daily

The health care affordability gap continues to rise

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According to Towers Watson’s 2010 Health Care Cost Survey of 552 employers, health costs (insurance and out-of-pocket expenses) are outpacing inflation at record-high levels.

While employees’ earnings have increased 37% since 2000, health care expenses have risen 149%. The average employee will pay $400 more for health insurance this year than in 2009, bringing the annual average total to $2,487.

Employers are paying more to offer health benefits, too. The average employer share of premiums went up $636, to $7,896.

That means the average annual cost of health care benefits—between employer and employee premiums—now tops $10,000 for the first time.

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